Beyond Silence is a new evidence-based workplace mental health training program customized for healthcare workers. The 2-day program, led by peer educators, builds knowledge, skills and resources to promote early intervention and support for mental health at work, and psychological health and safety in the workplace.


Through research funding from the Ontario Ministry of Labour, we are able to offer subsidized training for workers in small, under-resourced healthcare workplaces across Ontario. We will be offering 8 training programs over the next two years, and evaluating the impact.

group of people around table with various forms and a notebook

This evidenced based peer-led mental health literacy program designed specifically for health care was tested in a randomized parallel group trial that looked at the following research questions:

  • Is customized contact-based education more effective than standard mental health literacy training in increasing the help-seeking/outreach behaviours of workers in a healthcare setting?
  • What mediates the impact of the contact-based intervention
  • What is the effect of mental health literacy
  • What is the effect of attitudes towards coworkers with mental health issues
  • What is the effect of attitudes towards seeking professional treatment
  • What process issues need to be considered in implementing mental health education in a healthcare workplace?


The research project compared the MHCC Mental Health First Aid Program and the Beyond Silence Program. It found that the programs were equally as effective at increasing mental health literacy. It also found that there were five key implementation factors that were important:

  • Contact-based education approach
  • Information tailored to the workplace context
  • Varied stakeholders perspectives
  • Sufficient time to integrate and apply learning, and
  • Organizational support.


Through the research it found that the Beyond Silence program provided more opportunity for contact-based education, healthcare specific content and opportunities for in-depth discussion of diverse perspectives. Finally the research concluded that to increase mental health literacy and reduce stigma, workplace training should be based on best practice principles of contact-based education, with contextually relevant examples and support from all levels of the organization.” (Moll, et al., 2016)


Moll S, Patten SB, Stuart H, Kirsh B, & MacDermid JC. (2018). Beyond silence: A randomized parallel-group trial exploring the impact of workplace mental health literacy training with healthcare employeeCanadian Journal of Psychiatry.

Moll, S., VandenBussche, J., Brooks, K., Kirsh, B., Stuart, H., Patten, SB. & MacDermid, JC. (2018). Workplace mental health training in health care: Key ingredients of implementation. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.